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3 key points for choosing a wellness provider

Updated: Aug 16, 2019

Saddled with low savings rates and high household indebtedness, many American workers are relying on company-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k) programs as their last great hope for retiring with dignity someday. Unfortunately, rapidly escalating costs and tougher regulatory obligations have made supporting such plans among employers and third-party benefits consultancies a far more complex task than ever before.

By Rick Kent, Chairman of Mentoro, Contributor Employee Benefit News


Saddled with low savings rates and high household indebtedness, many American workers are relying on company-sponsored retirement plans like 401(k) programs as their last great hope for retiring with dignity someday. Unfortunately, rapidly escalating costs and tougher regulatory obligations have made supporting such plans among employers and third-party benefits consultancies a far more complex task than ever before.


Naturally, these events have raised the importance of offering robust financial wellness programs that complement company-sponsored retirement plans. Employees need offerings that provide valuable educational resources, personal finance coaching and relevant benchmarking data to plan participants and plan sponsors.


Expanding family-friendly benefits, EAPs and flexible work arrangements are just a few ways employers can reduce stress for their employees.SPONSORED BYACCOLADE

But how can employee benefits consultancies, already frequently strapped for time, deliver such tools and resources to their clients? Do they need to build this on their own, or should hiring an in-house expert or acquire a smaller provider?


The good news is “neither.”


Over the past few years, a number of dedicated financial wellness service providers for company retirement plans has emerged and are able to serve true third party, turnkey offerings that can be integrated with the offerings of employee benefit consultancies. In many instances, these services can be "white labeled" under the consultancies' own brands.

But caveat emptor: As with capturing any potential growth opportunity with an outsourced provider, it’s important to team up with the right partner.


With that in mind, here are the three key considerations to bear in mind for benefits consultants who are seeking the right third party, turnkey financial wellness provider to partner with and drive greater value for clients.


Look for educational and training materials that are robust and tailor-made to the plan participants. Any reasonably good financial wellness provider should be able to offer educational and training materials that cover a wide range of topics, including basic financial and investing concepts, tips for paying down debt and general keys to improving retirement preparedness. Frankly, that’s easy enough to accomplish, and required nothing more than bit of time and some money.


But what separates great financial wellness solutions from those that are merely good is both the willingness and capability to customize that content to the size of the plan and unique needs, goals and aspirations of the participants. An educated plan participant, one who is armed with information that is tailor-made for them, is far more likely to take the steps necessary to improve their financial wellness.


Demand data analytics programs that can demonstrate ongoing financial health and retirement readiness. It’s one thing for plan participants to have the knowledge they need to understand better what takes to one day retire comfortably. It’s an entirely different thing, however, knowing whether they are actually on track to do that.


See original article here.

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